This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
by Kevin McCorry for NewsWorks
Claims that the company running the Olney Charter High School tried to intimidate teachers who sought to unionize may be heading for a hearing.
Hanako Franz teaches 9th-grade history at Olney Charter High School, which became an non-unionized charter run by Aspira in 2011 — Franz’s first year of teaching.
Over the next two years, Franz says, the administration made many decisions — some she says to the detriment of children’s education — without consulting with the teaching staff.
From there came the idea to form a union.
"We do want to have a legal right to a voice at our school and we want to be a part of decisions that get made," Franz said. "We understand that changes sometimes have to happen and change isn’t always bad, but we just want to be a part of that process."
Like all teachers at Olney, Franz is employed on an "at-will" basis, without due process protections for being fired.